Professors, oh how they profess!

But I digress I confess, lets progress . . .
One day I hope to be a PhD. so I can be as pompous. I’ve heard a couple of ideas for what PhD stands for other than Philosophical Doctorate, such as Permanent head Damage, and the like. I’d have to say in terms of describing the post-doctorate attitude, it is more likely Projected Historical Demeanor. That is to say if you were an unforgivable ass before your dissertation, you are more so.
I’ve already made a wonderful impression on one of the faculty in the School of Management. As a pseudonym I will refer to him as Dr. Docker. In the initial meet and greet this is how our first impression commenced:

Dr. Docker: (I walked into the middle of the conversation): Blah, blah blah The G.I. Bill put me through undergrad, and they held off my deployment so I could finish my MBA, half of which I took my senior year. As soon as I graduated they sent me off to the Vietnam War. I was assigned in Hong Kong as the commander of an re-engineering mission and my ship never the dock. But I got my Commander-at-Sea pin. (seems to me to be joking, in fact he’s VERY proud of his pin).
Me: I guess they don’t have a Commander-At-Dock pin.
Dr. Docker: Ahem. (back to him) My son-in-laws both have their doctorates, but they don’t have their Commander-at-Sea Pin, and they won’t have their chance to get it now. Blah, blah, blah

Me: (sneaking away)

Wow. So luckily he’s an elective instructor, so I never have to take his classes, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a chance to reap revenge for my disrespect.

The next day he presented a mini-lecture to our class about team work and presentations. The first presentation team that went he ripped a new one (unfairly so). He said something to the effect of, “Your teammates look bored, if you can’t keep them interested how are you going to keep your audience interested.” Ummm, he designed the content of the presentation, and that was the least interesting part. Oh not to mention that half the class was asleep by the end of his lecture.
But his sweet revenge was collected the next day during a team tower building exercise. The point was to build the highest tower, with the builder blind folded using only their non-dominant hand and only one seeing person communicating with the builder. I was the builder, and we blew everyone else’s tower away. At the last few seconds I put the final blocks on, and was oh so slowly taking my hand away (so I wouldn’t knock over anything) , clearly outstretched to indicate I was not holding anything. He claimed to have said stop prior to the placement of the last few blocks, and subsequently removed them, making our tower shorter, and below our stated goal therefore disqualifying us.

I’m no sore loser, and I can do without a prize of candy or a coffee mug, and I was happy to congratulate the winners. But this guy clearly enjoys taking something from others, whether or not it is important to them. Maybe his sons don’t give a damn about the pin, but he sure as heck makes it an issue. I was a little worried that most of my professors would in some way like him.
There is no shortage of pompasity(?) but for the most part little meanspiritedness, just ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’.
I have noticed specifically at UTD, you are expected to teach yourself the material.
Generally that’s true for all my classes, but my instructors are open to question. However one class in particular irks me, I wouldn’t mind so much if the material are evaluated on was a least referred to in class, but as it is, it seems like we are a captive audience to an unhelpful powerpoint presentation (that was already posted online). We don’t discuss the material Socratically, if we ask a question we aren’t given a helpful answer, or even one that makes you think.
I understand that Professors are supposed to profess, but lets talk about the subject they are pedigreed for.


~ by The Great and Powerful RB on September 1, 2009.

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